Monday, 26 November 2007

The final furlong (2)

I had long conversations with the architect and the kitchen people today whilst in the queue at Waitrose. My daughter had a complete meltdown involving tearing off her shoes and lying on the floor, but this started well before the phone went so I don't feel too guilty. Am I the only one who can't get round the supermarket without all foods remotely palatable to a one year old being ripped open for immediate consumption just to keep the peace? Hence the satsumas bumping over the floor as the long-suffering staff lift the bag to scan them..

Anyway the upshot is that no, we wouldn't like our kitchen delivered a week earlier than scheduled just in case the building work isn't quite finished and we're not quite ready for them. Cue hollow laughter. But it has occurred to me that our limbo life might be moving on to the next phase, one which might even involve flushing loos and central heating. The builder and architect reckon they'll be finished by 17 Dec, in time for all the Polish guys on site to get away for their three weeks at home. I don't believe them for a moment, and neither would you if you could see our house ( photos tomorrow) but stranger things have happened. I feel like the gormless goofs on Property Ladder who assure Sarah Beany they'll be on the market by Tuesday despite the lack of roof, floors or ceiling. But I suppose it's possible.

We are moving out (into a B&B) next week so that they can get started on the upstairs and install the new boiler and bathroom. On the one hand I am dreading having to go to sleep at 7.30 in the same room as a one year old and a five year old, but on the other a) I could do with some sleep b) there will be central heating - yay! c) I'm pretty sure there will be a flushing loo and a stand up shower - we've been flushing with buckets and crouching under a feeble shower head for so long I've almost forgotten what modern life can be like.

A few people have asked how we cope with two small children in a building site. The answer is that we spend as little time at home as possible. Luckily the older one is at school, and I have arranged lots of after school activities so that he spends as little time as possible in the Worst House. It's embarassing not to be able to return playdates but people have been very understanding about it. (It's pretty much going to be wall to wall five year olds once we do get round to fulfilling our obligations!) The little one is a different story. We spend a lot of time in Cafe Nero, the library, drop in toddler groups, friends' houses, music groups and the supermarket, and she takes her naps in the car. The car has pretty much become a home from home for me too - today I sat in it for three hours parked outside the house while the builders drilled, she slept and I dashed from time to time in to use the loo, make a sandwich and grab something to read.

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I'm 39 and married with two children aged seven and four. I'm fatally attracted to house renovation projects, and this is our third in the last seven years, my personal fifth since I bought my first flat in 1996. I think we might have bitten off more than we can chew with the Worst House.

Fame at last!

Fame at last!